(If you wish to see the past three posts, they can be found in ‘Characters of scripture’)
A series of questions were asked in previous posts: Is Mary worthy of worship? What would she do with the homage? Is scripture sufficient to be our guide? Did the apostles worship her? Was She conceived without sin? Does tradition support such accolades as the ‘queen of heaven?’ Who did the baptist see the dove alit on?
Instead of asking: does it matter, perhaps we should ask whether scripture matters.
Please be objective and judge the influence of Baker Eddy, the Yugoslavian phenom, thousands of years of tradition, and at least consider the possibility of divided loyalties in the same house. Is this topic even relevant in 2014? Well, take a look at Mardi Gras or Rio, or Sodom. Yes, it is more revant today.
It would be fair to assert that there are a few schools of thought regarding devotion to Mary.
1. The fanatical and utter blindness of anything that logically proves tradition or the church may have embellished Mary by folks who know nothing of scripture; these people are very religious.
2. They who know Christ is Saviour, but rely on church tradition to fill in the gaps of their limited knowledge of scripture.
3. They who think there is no harm nor difference in 1. and 2.
Tradition is as good as the scripture it supports, but there is danger of avoiding this topic because of the possibility of offending, and there is a greater danger in ignoring this because we may be ‘ashamed’ of the gospel.
When the angel of God appeared before the apostle on Pamos, John prostrated himself, and the angel recognized misdirected zeal and said: worship God.
We all bow the knee to somebody. Some bow the knee to banks, others to the football field, others to opera, others to Oprah, others to the garden god, in short, all men have gods. God would have men bow to the Redeemer today, in grace, as opposed to a Creator later when it will be too late.
There are ‘other’ Mary’s cleverly presented in the heavenlies, as Paul said there are many voices in the air, but there is no woman on the throne of God; there is no woman wearing twelve stars with the earth under her feet, and this particular woman does not crush the head of the serpent.
The prince of the power of the air is quite crafty, and has for millenia perfected his trade. When the devil took the Lord to a high mount and showed him the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, the sad truth is the kingdoms of men were presented to the Lord ‘outside of scripture.’
He was lying when he uttered scripture to the Lord, that the angels would ‘bear him up.’ Such is the double tongued perversion of this angel of light. A master of half-truths, he is the father of lies.
And my friend, is not Mary presented as an angel of light; is she not commended to your mind ‘outside’ of scripture; is she not presented as saviour like in appearance, devotion, help, and reverence?
Is the Mary of the holy scriptures and the Mary of tradition one and the same? Is the history and future of Mary true as presented by the diocese, catechisms, and literature?
We are reminded to watch for false Christs, for ‘many’ would come along and seduce, yet we do not use this reasoning when it comes to ‘religious homage,’ for Paul dealt with a similar spirit when he saw an entire city given to idolatry: ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians,’ and it would not be unfair to suggest that the potential spirit of ‘Mariolatry’ is similar to Diana. ‘If scripture be our guide,’ we must agree as to this striking similarity.
Mary Baker Eddy of ‘Christian Science’ took extreme liberty, and applied scripture out of its’ context and formed a religion. She easily deceived herself as well as many others, by her silver tongue and slippery pen. The error of her ways can be seen by any who allows scripture to be the guide. Her alleged ‘keys’ opened doors to basements of false doctrine.
Years ago a lecture was given regarding Medjugorje and the children (six, 1981 Mostar) of Yugoslavia. It was a packed public hall and well received….until…the slightest inkling arose as to the ‘possibility’ that this event and such sightings ‘could be’ hallmarks of the angel of light. A mere possibility. After all, a good speaker presents all sides, yes?
Without skipping a beat, and picking up from the book of Acts, an outside observer could logically conclude that there were other forces at work that were just plain bizarre. The audience went berserk. The speaker kept calm, but ‘stoning’ is too light a word for the antagonism that ensued.
It is precisely THIS spirit that proves such beliefs are carnal, fleshly, worldly, unnatural, and that ‘religious’ people have trouble logically following a spiritual argument without exhibiting chaos. ‘Crucify him, crucify him’ is pretty close to what was witnessed.
If the speaker was incorrect or even a liar, is this response worthy of they who say Mary does so much? Is this behavior consistent with her influence or discipleship? Yet, this is all too common, for tradition is a strong taskmaster. It demands too much and offers so little.
It was intimated in the third post that the apostles did not worship Mary. Heck, they did not even pray to her. There are notably others who have gone on record having no shame in their avowed worship of the human mother of the Lord. Here are a few:
He who hailed her ‘Queen of heaven’
He who dubbed her ‘Co-Redemptrix’
He who named her ‘Morning Star’
He who ascribed ‘Ark of the Covenant’
He who called her ‘Queen of Angels’
There can be no mistaking these proofs of divided loyalties. The Lord said: ‘He that is not with me is against me,’ and it is safe to interpret this in light of our topic. But the greater danger is the years and years of influence that these titles have inspired.
Citizen Tom said well that we are to follow Christ, referring to Peter and John, yet they both were fearless in preaching the word. ‘Following me’ also means to not worry about the results of delivering a pure message. If truth did not divide, it would not be worthy of attention. Truth is indeed that great continental divide.
Paul also recognized that some thought he was an ‘enemy’ for simply telling the truth. He included in this truth the inescapable fact that even if ‘an angel of light’ came with another message, inconsistent with his, that this messenger, whether man, devil, or angel from heaven, would be accursed. Strong language? Indeed, some of the strongest in the word of God, but this is to preserve the integrity of the pure message regarding the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, He whose name is Wonderful.
(In blogsville, we write of things we are passionate about, and we desire others to share our ideas. We trade observations and suggestions, but at the end of the day, we like to think we have added worth to the printed word. We enjoy sharpening iron with others, and appreciate affirmation as well as dissent.)
In the last post, a point of view will be discussed that I believe will be worthy of reading.